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Lack of sleep may damage facial recognition power

Study found that poor sleepers lacks in decision making which leads to poor identification process

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Oct 10 2016 3:45PM | Updated Date: Oct 10 2016 3:45PM

Lack of sleep may damage facial recognition power

Lack of sleep may impact the power of facial identification. According to a new study lack of proper sleep can reduce the accuracy of decision.


It is often necessary to identify unfamiliar people by comparing face images for example a CCTV image or a passport photograph to a traveler.


Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia and the University of Glasgow in the UK found that accuracy of these decisions is impaired by poor sleep.


Participants were asked to decide whether two images, presented on a computer monitor at the same time, pictured the same person or two different people.


Researchers said that while most people would typically expect to perform well on these tasks, many are surprised at how many errors they make.


Previous studies have shown impaired memory for faces following restricted sleep. Until now it was not known whether lack of sleep impairs performance on face identification tasks or not.